7 Tips on How to Enjoy Fireworks for Children with Autism
With parades, BBQs, and lights filling up the sky, the 4th of July is, for many of us,a fun weekend holiday. Although shining, loud fireworks are generally fun for the whole family, they can be overwhelming for children with autism. The sensory overload might just be too much to handle and can create a complication in your Fourth of July plans. Not to worry, BHW is here to help! Here are 7 tips on how to help your child enjoy this Independence Day!
Prepare your Child: Talk to your child about what will be going on during the event from getting into the car, watching the show, to getting home. It may help to list it out like:
- Getting into the car
- Having a picnic & what you will be eating, Perhaps bring your child’s favorite snacks or meal.
- Watching fireworks
- Walking back to the car
- Waiting in traffic and any other details that you can think of.
Note: The more your child knows about what to expect, the better they will respond to the situation. It can even be ideal to prepare your child for this event by showing them a firework “demonstration”. Find a movie with a firework scene and observe how your child reacts.
Bring along some sunglasses and noise canceling headphones: Noise canceling headphones and a pair of sunglasses can work wonders. The headphones may be helpful to quiet any loud or unwanted sound. Bright lights from fireworks also have the potential to stir up sensory discomfort so having a pair of sunglasses or even a hat can be useful.
Watch from a Distance: By watching from a distance you may be able to minimize the sensory input from the fireworks. You can even watch from the car if you feel that this would be a better option.
Take Deep Breaths: Try to help your child keep calm by having them take deep breaths. Encourage deep breathing before and during the event to help keep them relaxed.
Bring Distractions: Snacks, toys, games or preferred activities are the perfect distraction.
Safety First: Have a Plan B! Sometimes, despite all the preparation beforehand, there may still be instances when your child may feel like there is too much activity going on. Because of this, you should have an escape plan or a Plan B.
Focus on the FUN!: No matter what occurs in the day always remember to have fun! If you have a smile on your face so will your child.
BHW would like to wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July!